How would you describe your two bosses Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter? You can't compare Vince to anybody, if it wasn't for Vince McMahon I wouldn't be here talking to you. He knows how to make money and make stars, I wouldn't be working for Dixie Carter right now if it wasn't for Vince McMahon doing what he did for me. Dixie is a woman and she has that caring aspect about her, sometimes she lets personal [issues] get involved with business because she can't help it. She cares about the wrestlers and their wellbeing and their welfare. Other than that I think Dixie has done a great job, we are talking about a woman that has been involved in the entertainment business but not the wrestling business. It is different when you are involved in music and go over to wrestling, there is so much difference, I think the last 12 years she has had to learn on the job and I think she has done a good job. I can't say anything bad about her, one thing I'll say is that I'm not sure she would have made it without the help of Jeff Jarrett because she did need someone to help transition here and there and Jeff has a great mind for the business. She has learnt a lot during her time at TNA but at the same time she has to make business decisions that she doesn't necessarily like. Lately she has made some very rash business decisions when you are talking about Hulk Hogan and AJ Styles but she has to do what is best for the company, if she thinks that is what is best for the company she has to do it. Would other people agree, no, but she is doing what is best for her company and you can't blame her for that."
- Kurt Angle on comparisions between Vince McMahon and Dixie Carter
"It's tough, even Hulk Hogan was a tough loss to accept. Sting has been the cornerstone of the company, Jarrett founded the company and I think he might be the best heel in the business, and AJ Styles is just the best athlete I've ever been in the ring with. From three different perspectives it is a tough pill to swallow because they are three of the best. When you don't have them in the company you hope to god that the young talent steps up, guys like Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, and James Storm seem to be stepping up. Will they replace Sting? You can't replace Sting, will they replace AJ? Probably not, AJ is irreplaceable, but will they become their own characters and do really well, yes they will do phenomenally well and it's not about replacing anymore, it's about making new stars."
- Kurt Angle on TNA losing stars recently
During a recent interview, AJ Styles revealed that he was contacted by lawyers representing TNA, in regards to a nation wide speakig tour that he had initially planned on doing in March. Things are being worked out, and the tour has been moved to a possible July start date.
While a lot of wrestling fans would love to see him making his debut in WWE, AJ Styles has revealed that there has been no contact between he and the company. The former TNA champion also revealed that he did not receive a courtesy call to just gauge his insterest.
There are those that believe that AJ Styles will be one of the first name signed to a contract when Jeff Jarrett starts his new wrestling promotion. The two of them are on very good terms, and Styles has always credited Jarrett with being the person to give him a chance as a main event performer.
"From a wrestling standpoint, I'd love to have a guy like AJ Styles within the company to wrestle. I think the fans would, too. There was a tease of what could have been, but I don't think anybody saw what me and AJ Styles could do in there. On a personal level, I want AJ Styles to do whatever is best for him and his family, and if that's coming back to TNA that would be awesome. If that's working elsewhere, I completely understand that. If that will happen, I have no idea. I guess we'll find out. We all have to stay tuned and see what happens."
"I don't know the situation with the contracts and all that stuff, but you know for me to see a guy that I've been here since day one with is a dark day for TNA because he did help build TNA. Anytime somebody says TNA they automatically think of AJ Styles and the incredible matches he's had while he's been here. Hopefully him and TNA can come to an agreement and he can come back pretty soon."
AJ Styles might have a little more leverage in his ongoing negotiations with TNA, as Impact Wrestling managed to score a dramatic increase this week. Approximately 25% more people tuned into the episode, which featured Styles's final match, than they did the previous week.
In a rather interesting move, TNA opted not to show the farewell speech from AJ Styles on Impact Wrestling last night. He had initially thanked the fans for their support and wished everyone well. The company still continues to negotiate a new deal with Styles.
While many are under the assumption that the doors have been completely closed, sources within the industry have revealed that AJ Styles is still in negotiation with TNA for a potential return in 2014. The meetings just aren't as frequent as before.
Even though he is no longer with the company and has started working elsewhere, the belief within TNA is that AJ Styles will be returning in March to work a big match against world heavyweight champion Brutus Magnus at the Lockdown pay per view.
"Well I've definitely have had a couple of tweets, with some being angry with me. And I'm not going to retweet them, I'm not going to respond to them. I'm not going to respond to someone who is just being a jerk even though I want to. Just a number of things, like for instance some guy said that "AJ, if you're done with TNA, then that's a big F you to me." Like saying I'm screwing him. My argument would be to him if you would like to pay me to work there then I'd be more than happy. Negotiations are what they are and sometimes you can't agree on something and at some point you need to make a decision that benefits your family. One guy brought up this--this is the most ridiculous thing--did you know that I guess, Ring Of Honor's website there is an under 18 kind of--I don't know, soft porn or whatever it is, that sponsors them? I don't know if it sponsors the website, I don't know anything about it. I'm not filming any movies with soft porn if it makes him feel any better. I'm not doing that. I am there to wrestle and that's it. I'm sure if we knew where a lot of money comes from; from different businesses; we would be less likely to support them. I am supporting my family. That's the bottom line. It has nothing to do with some soft porn site. I don't really know what it is. And he's attacking my beliefs. And I want to say to this guy "well you without sin, throw the first stone." They always want to bash something that you do. No matter what it is but it relies on me taking care of my family and what I think is right for them."
"Well I mean, and I can understand why people want to believe that it is a work. Because they don't want to; first of all I'm sure they don't want to believe that I'm actually not working for TNA. Second, I told them that I didn't have a contract in the first place. Cause I didn't. I had an extension. So I understand why they might believe it's a work, and why it's hard to believe but it's even hard for me to believe. That after working with a company for 11 years, and busting your tail and doing what you thought was right and doing it to the best of your ability that it would even come down to a negotiation where it would take a long time or anything like that. I just figured that we'd find a way. And the timing, you know it just had me where I had to make a decision. I had to do something and I just figured that this is an opportunity and I need to take it."
AJ Styles was recently interviewed and asked about why WWE has refused to pick him up. The former TNA star stated that the company is focused on their developmental system and simply are not interested in signing established performers like himself.
It is now being said that AJ Styles had considered a potential return to Ring of Honor before his contract with TNA had expired. He was intrigued by the idea of working with ROH again and wanted to keep his options open in case a deal with TNA could not be reached.
TNA wants a successful tour of Europe in January, so they're hoping to have AJ Styles involved. The company either wants him to make a surprise return during an episode of Impact Wrestling that is being taped overseas or on an episode before that.
According to agent Bill Behrens, his client, AJ Styles, is still involved in negotiations with TNA on a brand new contract that would enable him to continue working for the company. Behrens also noted that he was negotiating with other companies as well.
While no deal has been officially made yet, there is word coming out of TNA that the company is making good progress in their negotiations with AJ Styles. Management definitely wants him to stick around, but it has to make sense financially.
The belief is that AJ Styles has a good amount of money saved up over the years. He has never been known to be a big spender or party guy. Even without a TNA contract, he should be fine just working a few times a month on the independent wrestling circuit.
While there are still people under the belief that this entire thing is a story line, AJ Styles has now been booked for various independent wrestling shows, including a big match against former WWE signee Kassius Ohno in January, from now until March.
AJ Styles released an official statement on his contract situation with TNA. The former world champion revealed that he is leaving the company. He also noted that this is the first time in eleven years that he is without a wrestling contract in hand.
"Well, my opinions don't really matter because the storyline, for me, is just to entertain the fans and keep them engaged in what's going on with the company. I will say that any time that you have the opportunity to take the top prize in the company and take it internationally, and maybe compete and defend it in some territories and in front of some sets of fans that don't normally get to have that honor, I think that's a great thing for the company. That helps get the brand out there and helps put the product out there. A guy like AJ Styles is obviously a great talent and he's going to go out there and put on a performance that's befitting of a man who is the World Champion. So, from that standpoint alone, I don't see how there could be anything negative coming from AJ taking that belt all over the world and defend it against anybody that wants an opportunity. I know that's the same mindset I've had in my past when I've been world champion. Bring 'em all on, near and far, we don't like to sit here and pretend that the only wrestling is the wrestling that happens in our universe. There's professional wrestling going on all over the world and we want to acknowledge it and put our best against their best at any time."